guest blog: a heart for worship and the nations

Lisa Cuellar is currently working as YWAM staff in York, part time staff at St. Michael le Belfrey and is the director of the Burn 24-7 worship and prayer in York.

In this guest blog she shares her heart for how worship, intercession, evangelism and the nations should all interconnect which has developed over many years leading worship and sharing the gospel all around the world.

Lisa Cuellar

At Christmas time in 1994, I was on a YWAM missions trip to the Philippines. My school of worship was in the country for two months to teach, train and evangelize and I was an eager young student…

One night I was lying on my bed listening to a worship song called “Praise Him.” As I was worshipping, I began to weep. I had this overwhelming desire to go and tell the whole world to come and worship this amazing God.

I wept uncontrollably with longing in my heart to tell everyone to come and worship him. I wanted to make his name great! My eyes were opened to how worthy God is…

“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” (Rev 5:12)

I think the best evangelists are probably love-sick worshipers who can’t stop telling people about the love of their lives.

They are so overwhelmed with the presence of God that it spills out into everyday life naturally. Isn’t that what most people do when they are in love?

I’ve been around the world in missions leading worship and doing evangelism for almost twenty years, but my understanding of “the nations” started quite early.  I was born in California to a Mexican father and a Guatemalan mother who eventually became Amercian citizens.

Then when we lived in England in the 80’s I went to an American School with students representing forty different nations.

I was used to diversity, and as I gave my heart to Jesus I had an interest in missions. It made sense to me that God was interested in the lost and calls us to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation…”

But I would have to say that it wasn’t until that experience in God’s presence in the Philippines that I understood why we are driven into missions.

It has to be out of love and a revelation of who God is. It has to be a desire to see him exalted. It must be with a fixed vision on Jesus. Paul wrote “For the love of Christ compels us…”

If the love of our life is the nations, we are in danger of disappointment or disillusionment.

However,  if the driving force of our lives is our love for God and for his honour, we will never be disappointed in him and our desire will never be dampened.

It’s because I long to see his glory fill the earth that I want to join the psalmist in proclaiming:

God be gracious to us and bless us, And cause his face to shine upon us– That your way may be known on the earth, your salvation among all nations. Let the peoples praise you, O God; Let all the peoples praise you. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; For you will judge the peoples with uprightness And guide the nations on the earth.”  (Psalm 67:1-4)

God’s intention has always been to bless the nations through his people. For me it is not a hard, heavy thing to tell people about Jesus—that’s what it means to lead worship—to call people to know him better.

So taking a step to declare the glory and goodness of God over a nation in worship is simple. It’s simple because I know who God is.

One of the reasons we don’t intercede as much as we could in the church is that we feel powerless.

When we stop looking at God and look at how limited we are, it’s easy to be overwhelmed.

But if we keep our eyes on God, it becomes much easier to ask God for what seems impossible, because for him it is not. “Is there anything too difficult for the Lord?” (Gen 18:14)

This is why it’s so important to have intercessions flow from our worship. It’s the most easy and natural thing to ask God for the impossible when we are looking at an unlimited and Almighty God.

Once we have a revelation of who God is, we have a revelation of who we are, just like Isaiah when he had a vision of the Lord and his robe filled the temple (Isaiah 6).

He suddenly saw himself and realized how unclean he was. God had to make him clean. After Isaiah had seen this glorious God and had been made clean by him, he was eager to be sent by him.

Under the new covenant I have been made clean by the blood of Jesus and can come boldly before his throne of grace.

I am confident because I know who God is and I know who I am in Christ. And if I know both of those things, I am confident in the place of intercession.

It becomes natural to lead people into declaring the will of God over the nations

If I know who I am, I know I have authority to do this and it becomes part of how I relate to my world.  We can join with Jehoshaphat, who prayed when he was overwhelmed (2 Chron 20:6):

“O LORD, the God of our fathers, are you not God in the heavens? And are you not ruler over all the kingdoms of the nations? Power and might are in your hand so that no one can stand against you.”

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
(Ephesians 3:20, 21 NASB)

If our faith in prayer is too small it is only because our God is too small—at least the one we have created.  It’s time to look on him for who he is. This is what happens in the place of true worship.  We must grow in our faith to believe that God will reveal himself more powerfully!

It is my heart’s desire to see the church get to a place of greater faith in him.

To paraphrase Hebrews 11:6:  Without faith it is impossible to please God, for anyone who comes to him (and we often do in worship) must believe that he exists (he is really there in all his strength and goodness and power) and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him (he answers our prayers and our heart’s cry for we cannot do this without him).

God is calling his church to believe in him and what he has said. Let us draw near to God with our hearts full of faith without wavering.

He who promised is faithful. Let’s keep our eyes on him partner with him in declaring who he is in the nations:

“Now, will not God bring about justice for his elect who cry to him day and night, and will he delay long over them. I tell you that he will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”  (Luke 18:7-8)


If you’ve found this guest blog inspiring, you might be interested in reading the Sanctuary’s practical input resource Loving nations through prayer

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